The Addams Family 2 (2021)
Directed by: Greg Tiernan, Conrad Vernon, Laura Brousseau
Premise: A sequel to the 2019 animated film. A scientist claims that Wednesday Addams is actually his daughter and sends his agents to collect her. Meanwhile, Gomez and Morticia take their family on a road trip across America.
What Works: The 2019 Addams Family feature film was a lot of fun and the sequel continues some of what made that movie work. Like its predecessor, The Addams Family 2 is quite funny with a lot of the humor coming from Wednesday Addams. The humor is very droll with Wednesday often getting the best lines. The filmmakers also demonstrate an understanding of this property. The Addams Family works best when the stories focus on domestic issues like finding a home and keeping the family together. The sequel generally focuses on that and Wednesday’s story gets at something real about adolescence. She is pulling away from her family and trying to figure out who she is and that puts something genuine at the center of all the goofiness. This pays off pretty well in the conclusion in which Wednesday has to choose between the scientist and the Addams family.
What Doesn’t: The Addams Family 2 is never as compelling as the previous film. This story feels disjointed, as though two separate scripts have been mashed together. It begins as a road trip story. Wednesday is drifting from the rest of the Addams family and so Gomez hopes to reconnect by taking a family vacation. (Why didn’t they title this movie Addams Family Vacation?) The bulk of the picture consists of a series of random vignettes with the Addams Family visiting various landmarks across the United States and getting into wacky scenarios. These sequences are amusing but they’re not very imaginative. The film comes across episodic. Unlike National Lampoon’s Vacation, which builds toward the arrival at Wally World, the set pieces of The Addams Family 2 don’t escalate the laughs or the tensions among the family members. While the family makes its vacation stops, they are pursued by agents of the scientist who insists that Wednesday is actually his daughter. There’s little tension in this plotline until the end of the movie. Part of the problem is the lack of interest in the rest of the family members. The filmmakers love Wednesday but they don’t do anything interesting with the rest of the Addams family. Gomez and Morticia aren’t given anything to do and Pugsley’s side story with Uncle Fester doesn’t lead anywhere interesting.
Bottom Line: The Addams Family 2 is an underachieving sequel. It is funny and the movie ought to hold the attention of very young viewers but the sequel is not nearly as smart or as charming as the 2019 movie.
Episode: #872 (October 10, 2021)